It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Especially for running. From crunching on leaves, to checking out Halloween decorations, and finally not dying of heat exhaustion, the Fall season is really where it’s at for runners. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to get the shoes laced up, there’s ALL THE HALLOWEEN CANDY. And I’m not going to give you one of those lame “here’s how far you have to run to burn off one fun size Snickers,” because LIVE YOUR LIFE. Also, f*ck diet culture. What I am going to give you though, is the absolute, scientifically-backed, hierarchy of Halloween candy options as running fuel.
Didn’t think that raiding your kids trick-or-treat treasures could pay off on your next long run? Well, you were wrong! Don’t have innocent children to steal from? Don’t worry, you know that next to the day after Valentine’s Day, November 1st is the best day to fill your Target basket with half-priced seasonal confections.
Halloween candy is a great, though unconventional, form of running fuel. So as you run your hands through Reese’s pumpkins and green KitKats, don’t forget to set aside a few choice items to carry with you on your next run. If, however, the thought of carrying Smarties makes you want to run for the hills, I’ve got plenty of information on all Running Fuel options for pretty much every runner.
Here’s everything you need to know; the definitive guide to the best Halloween candy options for running fuel.
The Best Halloween Candy for Running Fuel
- Twizzlers – One of the most under appreciated trick-or-treat goodies. Twizzlers make good running fuel because they are easy to chew, and not difficult to digest. However, they are admittedly not particularly exciting taste-wise. Not bad in a pinch!
- Airheads – It’s a bummer that airheads aren’t as popular now as they were when I was a kid. These chewy candies are fruity and sugary, which is exactly what you want in a running fuel. On the downside, they aren’t the easiest to chew (though less difficult that NowAndLaters). Solid option if you can find a few hanging around.
- Tootsie rolls – The chocolate version of fruit chews! Tootsie rolls are tasty, easy to eat, and not hard to find. Be careful with smiling for race pictures after eating, though, because they do have a habit of getting stuck in your teeth.
- Snickers – I mean, who doesn’t love a Snickers? Mars really hit the nail on the head with this combination of nuts, caramel, and chocolate. The king of candy bars makes a great fueling option because they are delicious, the perfect mix of sweet n salty, and have just little bit of protein. They might not be a great option for newer runners who haven’t build up that running iron stomach though, because they can be a little more difficult to digest than some other options.
- Gummy worms – When it comes to candy as running fuel, you really can’t go wrong with anything gummy. Gummy bears, gummy life savers, gummy rings; they all work. But your more likely to come across gummy worms when your souring Halloween baskets. Gummy worms are sugary, easy to digest, and not too chewy. Plus, they usually come in perfectly portioned packets!
- Swedish fish – Another gummy/chewy/fruity type of option. These are honestly one of my favorite Halloween candies. They are super easy to chew, and very similar to some gel chews. They’re also not quite as sweet as some other options, which is nice sometimes when you’re had a couple servings of overly sweet gels.
- Smarties – Smarties have gotten me through some dark miles, friends, let me tell you. They give you a quick hit of carbs, they’re super easy to eat, and who doesn’t love a smartie? They aren’t great for carrying in humid weather, though, so keep that in mind.
- Skittles – You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who doesn’t have at least 16 packets of Skittles on October 31st, and that’s exactly the way it should be. The fruit flavored treats taste amazing, and are easy on the stomach. They also don’t dissolve in 30 seconds, so they’re a good option when you don’t mind enjoying something sweet for a couple of minute.
- Sweet tarts – On the other hand, Sweettarts dissolve at the speed of light, which can come in handy if your hit that point in a run where fuel just needs to go down as fast as possible. They also pack a good amount of fast acting sugar; perfect for that little energy burst you need in the last mile or two.
- Starburst – The running fuel king! Starbursts are probably the most similar to regular running gels, but they taste even better! If you can grab a handful of red and pink squares, you will find yourself in running heaven.
Bonus: frozen dark chocolate Reese’s – Ok, so admittedly, it’s not like you’re going to just stumble on a frozen dark chocolate anything. HOWEVER, if you do happen to find a dark chocolate mini cup hanging around your house, toss that sucker the freezer and then directly into your hydration vest. If you can keep it in cold form, you have a real running treat on your hands. It’s exactly the kind of the thing that can reanimate even the most worn out zombie runner.
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Obviously, it should go without saying that too much of a good thing will leave you on the side of the trail puking. So don’t go all Chrissy Teigen on the Smarties; save that for after the run. But don’t think that you’re limited to conventional running fuels, especially this time of year! If you’ve never tried a packet of skittles at mile 7, I can’t encourage you more to give it a shot. And if there’s a candy that you think makes a perfect running fuel option, you know I want to hear about it!